Cyprus abolishes citizenship through investment programme

Cyprus has announced it will abolish a controversial passport scheme following the release of an investigation by Al Jazeera that implicated high-ranking politicians who were willing to issue passports to convicted criminals.

The Ministries of Interior and Finance said in a statement posted in Greek on Twitter that the citizenship through investment programme in its current form will be abolished from November 1.

“The proposal was based on the timeless weaknesses but also on the abusive exploitation of the provisions of the program,” the tweet said.

On Monday, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit released The Cyprus Papers Undercover, which showed the willingness of parliament speaker, Demetris Syllouris, and member of parliament, Christakis Giovanis (also known as Giovani in Cyprus), to aid and abet convicted criminals to obtain a passport through the Citizenship Investment Programme (CIP).

The investigation came weeks after Al Jazeera also released The Cyprus Papers, a cache of almost 1,400 documents showing Cyprus had granted passports to criminals, people wanted by Interpol in the previous years.

More soon.

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